By: Kayhan Int’l Staff Writer
It is glad that the new government in Pakistan has been quick to realize the benefits of a functional foreign ministry after four years of inactivity under ousted Premier, Nawaz Sharif, who for some unknown reasons never appointed a foreign minister from 2013 till his sacking by the Supreme Court last July.
It seems new Prime Minister in Islamabad, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, made the right decision to restart the foreign ministry, as is evident by the 4-nation trip of Foreign Minister Khwaja Mohammad Asif, who is currently in Turkey after visiting China and the Islamic Republic of Iran with whom Pakistan shares borders.
During his one-day stay in Iran, Asif, who held fruitful talks with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif and with President Hojjat al-Islam Hassan Rouhani, also flew to Mashhad to pay his respects at the holy shrine of Imam Reza (AS), the 8th Infallible Heir of Prophet Mohammad (SAWA).
Talks in Tehran centred on improving bilateral relations between the two friendly neighbouring Muslim countries, including the need to confront terrorism both at the regional level and at the joint Iran-Pakistan borders.
Iran has suffered a lot from cross-border terrorism because of the indifference in official circles in Islamabad over the past four years to the US-Saudi backed terrorists operating from Baluchistan.
It is vital to resolve this issue, or else talk of joint efforts to tackle the instability in US-occupied Afghanistan will be meaningless.
Iran believes in a strong and independent Pakistan that is in charge of its own affairs, rather than following the Saudi agenda for the region.
It is in the same perspective the situation in Afghanistan should be viewed, and hopefully Islamabad has awakened to the realities after the accusations labeled against it by the quixotic US president, Donald Trump last August.
In other words, regional problems ought to be solved by regional states and not by outsiders such as the US which for the past 16 years has destroyed Afghanistan and now intends to make life more miserable for Afghan Muslims by increasing the number of its occupation troops.
If regional countries coordinate their policies in cooperation with the Afghan people and government, then neither will the US have any pretext to meddle in the region, nor will the al-Qa’eda, Taleban, Daesh and other terrorist outfits be able to continue their destabilizing campaign in both Afghanistan and Pakistan.
To be more precise, on no account should terrorists of any hue and colour, be given sanctuary or allowed to operate against a neighbouring country.
Iran and Pakistan as two important countries of the region have the potential to cooperation in almost all fields, the moment Islamabad realizes the folly the previous government had made in bowing to US pressures to downgrade trade relations with Tehran, especially the vital oil pipeline, regarding which the agreement signed by the then President Asif Ali Zardari in 2013 has been lying dormant.